EU spokeswoman: Belgrade-Pristina talks to begin next week
04. March 2011. | 08:01 11:18
Source: Emg.rs, Beta, Tanjug
Negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina are to begin next week, Maja Kocijancic, spokeswoman to the European Union high representative for foreign and security policy, told BETA on March 3.
BETA's EU sources also confirmed that the talks would begin next week in Brussels, in all likelihood on March 8.
According to earlier announcements, Serbia's negotiating team will be spearheaded by Borislav Stefanovic, a director at the Serbian Foreign Ministry, while Edita Tahiri, deputy premier of Kosovo, will lead Pristina's negotiators.
Redzepi claims that Belgrade-Pristina dialogue would start on March 8
Kosovo Interior Minister Bajram Redzepi claims that representatives of Belgrade and Pristina would meet in Brussels on March 8, Pristina-based papers reported on Thursday.
Redzepi did not wish to reveal any further details regarding the meeting.
The Kosovo government reported that head of the Pristina negotiating team Edita Tahiri and Kosovo Foreign Minister Enver Hodzaj set off for Washington on Thursday, where they would confer with U.S. Deputy Secretary of the State James Steinberg.
Addressing reporters in the KosovO parliament, Redzepi said that he will continue to refute the reports on human organ trafficking authored by Council of Europe Special Rapporteur Dick Marty and qualified them as a piece of science fiction.
He also stated that there are no conditions for transplantation of human organs in Kosovo and Albania.
Dacic: Personal documents and licence plates as topics of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Ivica Dacic stated on Thursday that the issues of personal documents, licence plates and crossing the administrative border will be some of the topics to be discussed during the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
“One of the topics (of the talks) will be the issue of personal documents and crossing the administrative border,” Dacic said and added that another point on the agenda will refer to licence plates.
He reminded that when it comes to the administrative border, Serbian authorities apply distinct stamps to documents marked by the symbols of the Republic of Kosovo.
Head of the government's negotiating team Borko Stefanovic confirmed for Tanjug on Wednesday that he conferred with European Union mediator Robert Cooper in Belgrade on Tuesday over the preparations for the opening of the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue.
“This was a regular meeting within the preparations for the talks,” Stefanovic said and added that the purpose of Cooper's visit to Belgrade was to set down the agenda and the date of the negotiations with both sides in the talks.
Stefanovic specified that more information, including the exact date when the talks should start, would be released early next week.
Warlick: It is important that both sides are ready for dialogue
U.S. Ambassador to Serbia Mary Warlick said she was optimistic about the forthcoming talks between Belgrade and Pristina as she believed that both sides are ready.
It is very significant that both sides have become aware that many important practical issues need to be resolved and everyday living of people in Serbia and Kosovo improved. It is in both sides' interest to have a successful dialogue, Warlick said in an interview for the Friday edition of the Belgrade-based daily Blic.
The ambassador said Brussels would take the leading role in the talks and that the EU officials could count on Washington's support in the matter.
The United States is Serbia's strong partner and it wishes to do everything it can to help the country get closer to the European Union, she underlined.
When asked how the beginning of dialogue would look like and what would be the first topics of discussion, Warlick said that talks are underway between Pristina and Belgrade and the EU regarding the matter, but added she was confident that important issues would be treated in a serious way, which should make the talks successful and enhance mutual trust.
Warlick pointed out that the talks would be led by the EU and that the U.S. would encourage both sides to sit at the negotiating table with a desire to tackle important issues in a serious and practical manner.
She recalled that the U.S. position had always been quite clear and that there was no need to discuss Kosovo's borderline and status issues as the issues had already been resolved. She added that it was in both countries' interest to start negotiating in order to ensure progress in solving a number of other important problems.
Answering the question how the recent report by Council of Europe Rapporteur Dick Marty on human organ trafficking in Kosovo could affect the negotiations, the U.S. ambassador said that the negotiations and the Marty's report were two separate issues.
President Boris Tadic has said that the two issues should remain separate and the U.S. believes this to be true, Warlick said.